Lean manufacturing

The Cure for Execuphobia

How do you present to top executives? This SlideShare offers useful tips.


I post this SlidesShare about presenting to Executives because it is excellent and useful.The author talks about “execuphobia”, which of course means, fear of executives. He suggests you fear FOR executives instead of being afraid OF them. It’s a partnering mindset where you’re on their team to help solve their problems. That’s a great step toward curing execuphobia.

I studied it before I spoke to a room full of lean manufacturing executives. However, instead of applying his advice directly, I took another angle. (I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t. 🙂 ) My thinking was – execuphobia is the challenge I need to address, not a trait I need to jump through hoops to accommodate.

Well, my fear FOR executives is that by inspiring fearfulness, they miss out on a lot of input that they need in order to lead well. So my talk was aimed at breaking down the walls for conversational leadership. I didn’t do that by getting to the point in one minute. I did it by catalyzing a conversation where THEY made my point in one minute. They made a lot of points for me, and admittedly, some of them took more than a minute to get to,

My style was familiar to them in theory but not in experience. Some loved it, others not so much. Some valued the way the approach cracked the surface of the discussion and got into underlying concerns. Others thought I should have been more directive.

I had a room full of talented, accomplished men and women. Why should I have made all the points? I left that approach to the other presenters and tapped into the brilliance in the room. I learned a lot, and so did they. It just might not have been what they thought they would learn. If they apply what they experienced as well as what they heard, their people might not need SlideShares about handling execuphobia. 

PowerPhrase: What Improvement Did You Make in How You Work Today?

powerphrase icon2One of the success tools that Lean Manufacturer Paul Akers uses is requiring every employee to make a “2-second improvement” each day. That’s an improvement that saves 2 seconds in something they do. It’s not about improving the end result, it’s about improving how they get to the end result. 

That requirement isn’t just some nice idea that everyone ignores. Each employee is expected to—and does—develop a small process improvement each day. Some are shared in the morning meeting and others are reported in the “morning improvement walk” where the manager asks a version of this question.

  • What improvement did you make in how you work today?

Why not ask that question of yourself, and of people you work with each day? Not only will it get everyone thinking in terms of improvements, but you’ll learn some best practices that way.

My simple improvement today was to download the app for my screen sharing protocol. It saves at least two seconds when I want to share my screen with someone. Actually, I have more, but I’ll keep it simple and share just one.

The Answer is a Question – and Walking in Each Other’s Shoes

After visiting FastCap manufacturing, a visitor emailed back with the observation that everybody presented consisely and effectively at the company-wide morning meeting. He wanted to know – what’s the secret?

Paul explains that they teach and train their people to be pithy and consise. As soon as someone starts to give a ramblng response, they stop and ask someone else for their input. Another factor is that everyone leads the morning meeting at one point or another, so they all know what it’s like to have the responsibility of keeping the group on track.

Watch Paul explain it here.